Ben Chafin (38th) and Emmett Hanger (24th).
The state will become the 33rd to expand Medicaid since the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014. The program is expected to begin January 1, 2019. "While no compromise is flawless, it is a true bipartisan effort that will make our communities healthier, and I'm grateful to the legislators and Governor Northam who are working tirelessly to get it over the finish line", said Virginia Sen. "It brings about much hope", Willis said.
"Between now and five years ago we've made a lot of progress", Northam said following the vote.
"I want us to pass a budget today and more importantly. this budget has critical components that I want to support", Vogel said in a post on her official Facebook page.
The approval did not come without last-minute drama: Thomas Norment, the Senate majority leader and steadfast opponent of Medicaid expansion, tried unsuccessfully to block it in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, and again on the Senate floor on Wednesday, when he pushed to pass a version of the budget that did not include it.
Ralph Northam, a pediatrician and Army doctor by trade, planning to sign the measure into law, Virginians and advocates for Medicaid expansion welcomed the development but emphasized the dangers of the caveat, which, as research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has shown, "will nearly certainly cause many low-income adults to lose health coverage". The measure requires able-bodied adults to hold jobs or be in job training to qualify for the program with some exceptions.
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Jeremy McPike (29th), Scott Surovell (36th) and George Barker (39th) - voted in favor of the budget bill that expands Medicaid while the county's two Republican senators - Richard Stuart (28th) and Dick Black (13th) - voted against it.
McPike called the vote a "big win for the people of Virginia".
Virginia's House of Delegates voted to approve Medicaid expansion during the regular 60-day legislative session that ended in March.
"This bipartisan compromise fulfills the voter's wishes to expand access to healthcare for over 300,000 hard-working Virginians while allowing us to invest in other priorities like public education".
Locally, the budget will direct millions more in state funding to local school divisions. It will expand health care for up to 400,000 people who need it.
The state House of Delegates, also controlled by Republicans, will have to vote on the measure and is expected to adopt it; every House Democrat and 19 Republicans in the lower chamber passed a different Medicaid expansion bill earlier this year. Gov.